A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

The Prof, The Holy Ghost & St. John The Baptist
Saturday, April 26, 2014




 In the early 70s I was teaching Spanish to foreign students in a Jesuit university in Mexico City. A kindly priest, head of the department called me into his office one day to tell me that there was a problem. He was in a serious fix. There was a class called Teaching Spanish to Teachers of Spanish by Way of Linguistics in which one of the instructors had come down with hepatitis This was a Friday and the class began on the Monday. The class was taught in what was deemed the avant-garde of the day. The two instructors would alternate during the daily two hour class. Both would be present at all times. The healthy instructor was a Uruguayan woman with a doctorate. I was asked to take the place of the sick instructor. I attempted to bow out citing my self-evident lack of academic qualifications. The priest would have nothing of this and sort of told me that the Holy Spirit would intervene on my behalf.
I remember going with Rosemary to the bookstore downtown to purchase the complicated book. On my first day I had huge butterflies in my stomach. In 1973 I was 31 but I did not look a day older than 24. My students, about 40 of them were all sort of long-in-the-tooth Americans who taught in American universities. My Uruguayan co-instructor was pleasant. I am sure she knew of my troubles.

For the length of the course, 6 weeks, I was always one or two chapters ahead of my students. Every night I told Rosemary I was going to snooze. She would run my bath get me into it and then would demand I teach her the next day’s class. She would not allow me to go to sleep.

I would arrive early to the university and I drank gallons of chamomile tea for my nerves. I had the runs and lost weight. But on that last day I was approached by my students who told me that they really admired my teaching skills and that they had learned lots.

There is no Holy Spirit or a kindly Jesuit in these parts and I feel that there is lots of information in my head on things photographic that will die with me when I die. In jest I tell my Rosemary to throw in all my cameras into the open pit that will be by grave so that I can be well accompanied into oblivion.

But more seriously last night I read to Rosemary this quote from the Open Book section of this Sunday’s NY Times Book Review:

‘My father was a very disciplined and punctual man; it was a prerequisite for his creativity….No matter what time you get out of bed, go for a walk and then work, he’d say, because the demons hate it when you get out of bed, demons hate fresh air.’
The novelist Linn Ullmann in an interview with Vogue, discussing the influence of her father, the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.

I put the paper down and immediately had a thought, “Rosemary if you ever look for my portraits of Liv Ullmann when I am dead you will not find them filed under U. She wrote that marvelous autobiography, Changing so I have her under a separate section on authors and yes in the Us.”

That led me to think I should put down on paper all my passwords for the blog, facebook, Twitter and how to access the folks that host and manage my blog/web page. They can pull the plug any instant if the credit card expiry date does its thing and expires! They have done this a couple of times and anybody who thinks that one’s presence on the net is permanent has lots to learn.

The role of the Baptist as explained in the New Testament was to “prepare the way for the Lord.” It behooves me to make the transition of my possible widow as flawless as that of St. John’s for the Lord.



     

Previous Posts
Living To Live & Bark Mulch At The VAG

When Is A Blog Not A True Diary?

A Blurred Failure?

Jan van Eyk, Annie Leibovitz's Willie Nelson & A M...

That Unexplained Mystery That Is Illogic

Easter At Brock House With Abi

Lacrimosa dies illa At Dunbar Heights United Chur...

The Grandkid At The Gateway Theatre - A Gabork Of ...

The Bomb-Itty Of Errors -Teaches An Old Dog A New ...

Dead Toads



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8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17